25/02/2009

S4C and devolution. Incompatible?

I am not a devolutionist I am a nationalist. I believe that Wales should be responsible for the whole of its own governance and the whole of its own national expenditure.

The issue of S4C recently raised by both Prof Dylan Jones Evans and Lord Dafydd Elis Thomas makes the case. S4C costs a lot of money, about £90 million a year.

As Wales pays about £170 million in tv licensing fees and, probably, pays a similar amount of the advertising premiums on goods purchased, S4C is still expensive, but not as exorbitantly so as some would suggest.

In an independent Wales S4C would be affordable.

If S4C was devolved it would not be affordable, because it would take up about 10% of the Assembly budget.

Spending 10% of a national budget on a telly channel used by one in ten of the population could never be justified. The Assembly reneged on the idea of giving just £600K to a Welsh Language newspaper, for goodness sake! - It could never justify spending 10% of its budget on the telly when hospitals and school are in dire need.

There is no other institution in the world as separately Welsh as S4C. If anything should be devolved all logic says that S4C is it! But a devolved Wales can't afford S4C.

The only way that Wales can afford to have control over something as simple as its own telly is by ditching the stupidity of Plaid's policy of the "evolution of devolution" and campaigning for all out independence, which would allow broadcasting to be seen as a small part of a total national expenditure, rather than a huge part of a very limited devolved expenditure!

9 comments:

  1. Oh dear, Alwyn,

    You've become so serious this last little while that I've had nothing to say. I liked it more when you were dry AND funny.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "If S4C was devolved it would not be affordable, because it would take up about 10% of the Assembly budget".

    The Assembly budget is £15 billion; cost of S4C is £90 million. Therefore is equivalenet to 0.006 per cent of the overall budget.

    Do you mean the culture budget?

    If so, then one would assume that the budget for S4C from Westminster would also be devolved and so no extra cost.

    The argument therefore is not about cost, but about a political will to do the right thing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Alwyn, I like you're blog, but you need to look at the maths again. Anon is right about the costs.

    I agree with you about independence though and the more sensible thing to do, as Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM argued when he was Culture Minister, is for Wales to control the whole of broadcasting not just one broadcaster.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The Assembly budget is £15 billion; cost of S4C is £90 million. Therefore is equivalent to 0.006 per cent of the overall budget.

    Do you mean the culture budget


    No I'm just useless at sums. I know where you got your 6 from , my workings out made it 6.8, which I rounded up to 10, I just missed out some 0's - THIKO!

    I suppose that I could just delete the post to hide my embarrassment. But on the other hand Fran might be made to smile again when she realises that when I try to make a serious point I make a balls up.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Brother Tecwyn26/02/2009, 23:08

    I'm sorry but just to get this straight, your main argument for Welsh independence is so that Wales can independently fund S4C?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Actually no-one has got the sum right. £90m is 0.6% of £15bn.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Forget the money - it should be run by us .The budget can stay where it is. As I see it the money is just the for oiling the wheels.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm sorry but just to get this straight, your main argument for Welsh independence is so that Wales can independently fund S4C?

    I hope that this is straight enough for you Brother Tecs:

    NO!

    ReplyDelete
  9. BBC Wales can run S4C perfectly well and much cheaper too. S4C is clearly just jobs for the cracha.

    ReplyDelete